Students at a West Norfolk school have become ambassadors for an NHS-approved text messaging service which offers vital help and advice to young people.
The Norfolk and Waveney Children and Young People’s Healthy Child Programme team, which delivers the ChatHealth service, visited St Clement’s High School last month to educate every pupil on the support that can be accessed confidentially through sending a text.
There were 616 students who attended on the day, making it the first school in the area to deliver the sessions to all pupils on this scale.
Students were also invited to become involved as ChatHealth Ambassadors to help spread the word about how to use the service.
A team of 13 new ambassadors has now been appointed at the Terrington St Clement school, which is part of West Norfolk Academies Trust.
This includes three students from Year 8, four from Year 9, one from Year 10 and five from Year 11, who were awarded their badges by the ChatHealth team.
Lisa Addison-Paul, student welfare manager at St Clement’s High School, said: “At St Clement's High school, it is important that we support and give students the ‘tool kit’ to aid better mental health, including strategies and support to help students to develop coping skills to maintain a positive well-being - this will then help students by boosting their own resilience, self-esteem and confidence.
“This is a great opportunity for our ChatHealth student ambassadors to work proactively around health and well-being, whilst actively supporting the wider school community where they can signpost students in gaining support where needed.
“ChatHealth does not take away the importance of face-to-face support in school but offers an alternative communication of support.”
The service is available for all young people in Norfolk aged 11-19 years old and offers advice and support for those struggling with mental or physical health.
When a student texts the ChatHealth number on 07480 635060, their message is picked up by a member of the Norfolk Healthy Child Programme team, who can answer questions and offer confidential advice.
They are also able to offer wellbeing strategies and talk through the different options of support available to the young person.
Students can also request to see one of the teams in school by using the ChatHealth number.
April Rose, Resilience and Emotional Health Practitioner, West Locality at Norfolk and Waveney Children & Young People’s Health Services, said: “It is a pleasure to represent Norfolk Healthy Child Programme to promote ChatHealth, 11-19 text messaging service, within St Clement’s High School.
"Schools like St Clement’s are making a real difference to the emotional health and wellbeing of its students, offering flexibility to meet the needs of their young people.
“St Clement’s High School has made significant adaptations to be able to promote ChatHealth to every student. These have included small, socially distanced groups, and whole school class briefings to the implementation of the ChatHealth Ambassador scheme now being rolled out.
“We are looking forward to supporting the ambassador scheme within the school in the future.”
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